On Saturday 22nd October 2022, exactly 150 years after a joint meeting of three Lodges was held at The Royal Hotel in Ramsgate to Constitute the Provincial Grand Mark Lodge for Kent, the Province celebrated its Sesquicentenary in the presence of the Pro Grand Master, M.W.Bro. John H. Prizeman.
The three Lodges in question were United Service Lodge No.69, Holmesdale Lodge No. 129 & The Dover and Cinque Ports Lodge No.152.
The Representatives & Banners of the Three Founding Lodges of the Province
The history of the Province actually begins some 15 years earlier in 1857, when Grand Mark Lodge at its meeting on 11th December confirmed C. Purton Cooper Q.C. as Provincial Grand Master. At this meeting Kent, along with seven other Provinces, was constituted and the first Provincial Grand Masters were named. More details of the history and background can be found in R.W.Bro. Roland Wade’s excellent book “A Brief History of the Mark Province of Kent”.
The Sesquicentenary Celebration Meeting took place in the centre of the Province, at the Kent Event Centre in Detling and was attended by Brethren from virtually every one of our 59 Mark Lodges and 47 Royal Ark Mariner Lodges along with guests and visitors from far and wide including:
- M.W.Bro. John H. Prizeman, Pro Grand Master
- R.W.Bro. Francis C. Spencer, Deputy Grand Master
- R.W.Bro. Prof Denovan K. Wilson, Assistant Grand Master
- R.W.Bro. Ryan A. Williams, Grand Secretary
- V.W.Bro. Christopher M.L. Davies, Grand Director of Ceremonies
L-R R.W.Bro. Francis C. Spencer, R.W.Bro. Peter Williams, M.W.Bro. John H. Prizeman, R.W.Bro. Prof Denovan K. Wilson, R.W.Bro. Ryan A. Williams.
along with eight Mark Provincial Grand Masters from nearby Provinces and eleven Heads of Orders from other Masonic Degrees in the county. Approaching 250 attended the meeting with more than 200 of them dining afterwards.
Provincial Grand Lodge was opened in Due Form by R.W.Bro. Peter Williams, Provincial Grand Master. Before receiving a delegation of representatives of Royal Ark Mariners from the Province he congratulated the five members who had recently accepted Promotion to R.A.M.G.R., namely:
- W.Bro. Trevor Sharpe
- W.Bro. Neil Johnstone
- W.Bro. David Jordan
- W.Bro. Paul Hutchinson
- W.Bro. Ife Hamilton-Rollings
who will be Invested at Royal Ark Mariner Grand Lodge on Monday 12th December.
There was then a report, which proved to be V.W.Bro. Christopher M.L. Davies, Grand Director of Ceremonies, who announced that the Pro Grand Master, M.W.Bro. John H. Prizeman was without and demanded admission.
M.W.Bro. John H. Prizeman, Pro Grand Master
The Pro Grand Master and accompanying Grand Officers were received and warmly welcomed to the Lodge.
There was then a procession of Worshipful Masters of Kent Mark Lodges who were followed into the meeting by the Worshipful Masters and Banner Bearers of the three Founding Lodges of the Province, United Service Lodge No.69, Holmesdale Lodge No. 129 & The Dover and Cinque Ports No.152. R.W. Peter thanked them all and the foresight of their predecessors for constituting the Province, stating that “If it were not for them, we would not be here celebrating today”.
W.Bro. Bob King then regaled those present with a brief yet informative and humorous presentation of the history of the Province, expressing his thanks to R.W.Bro. Roland Wade for the information gleaned from “A Brief History of the Mark Province of Kent” and “A Continuation of A Brief History of the Mark Province of Kent” and to V.W.Bro. Peter Wise for his latest addition “A Brief History of the Mark Province of Kent – A Sesquicentenary Addendum”. A copy of which was given to all who attended, as well as a specially struck Kent Mark Sesquicentennial Token.
The Kent Sesquicentennial Token
This was followed by a blessing for the future of the Province by V.W.Bro. Howard Pashley, Provincial Grand Chaplain.
The Brethren were then addressed by the Pro Grand Master, who brought greetings from The Grand Master, M.W.Bro. His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent, on this momentous occasion. He spoke glowingly of his myriad visits to the Province over the past 20 years in his various roles and how he had always been warmly received by the “Kentish Brethren and Brethren of Kent”. He closed by “hoping that the Mark Province of Kent would continue to Mark Well for many years to come”. M.W.Bro. Prizeman then presented R.W.Bro. Peter with the Province’s Sesquicentenary Certificate and his accompanying jewel. R.W.Bro. Peter immediately affixed it to his jacket with pride and informed the Brethren that they were now permitted to display theirs with similar delight. Have you purchased yours?
The Kent Sesquicentenary Jewel
The Provincial Grand Master responded with gratitude, thanking the Pro Grand Master and his accompanying Grand Officers for their precious time and for enhancing the meeting with their presence.
The Pro Grand Master and his accompanying Grand Officers then retired from the Lodge, after which it was closed in due form with a retiring collection made on behalf of the Kent Mark Benevolent Fund.
After adjourning to the bar for a period of reminiscence, a sumptuous dinner was served where friendships and conversations continued into the evening.
The Kent Mark 150th Token can purchased via eBay, while stocks last.